Isn’t it embarrassing when you return to the club who made you into one of the best footballers in the world that you left for money and trophies three years ago and completely failed at? Well that is exactly what is happening to Mario Gotze right now. After making 116 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, scoring 31 goals in all competitions and winning the German Bundesliga twice before he even reached the age of 21, Mario Gotze made a big-money €37 million move, becoming the most expensive German footballer of all time to Dortmund’s arch-rivals Bayern Munich. But at der FCB the competition for places was just far too great for Gotze and his lack of minutes resulted in him losing confidence by the day. Now whenever he hits the pitch he looks shattered and often goes completely anonymous in games. But now today, July 21, 2016, Mario Gotze has returned to the club who made him as a footballer, hoping to regain top form. The 24-year old signs a four year deal that will last until June 2020, completing a 26 million euro move.
Listen, Mario Gotze was atrociously bad under Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, he wasn’t even Borussia Dortmund’s primary target in that position this season, but a deal for Andre Schurrle just wasn’t going to happen. Now he returns to the club a changed footballer hoping to regain confidence and become great again. At a club, he loves, playing day in and day out, Mario Gotze seriously could become one of the best footballers in the world again.
In Dortmund’s lengthy announcement of the signing, the German midfielder apologized for ever leaving Borussia Dortmund in the first place. He said in a long message in my best German to English translation, “When I switched from BVB to Bayern in 2013, it was a conscious decision that I know many fans could not understand. If that offer had been made today I would not take it as I look back on that decision with a different viewpoint. When I return to my home, I want to try to convince all people, especially those who do not receive me with open arms that I can play my best football again, for all of us, the club and the BVB fans”
Mario Gotze we forgive you for leaving der BVB for Bayern Munich three years ago. But, it’ll take a Shinji Kagawa styled return to truly get back into our good graces, even if you were one of Borussia Dortmund’s best players in our glory years. Having said that, the future looks bright for Gotze and in his message to the fans he’s pretty much promising that he’s never going to leave the club again. That kind of loyalty is something us Borussia Dortmund fans love in our players as pretty much anyone who becomes even remotely successful at BVB leaves for bigger things.
It’ll be very interesting to see where Mario Gotze lines up next season. Reus and Gotze played together in Dortmund’s season in which they made it to the Champions League final, but that was when Kagawa was at Manchester United. Meanwhile Kagawa and Gotze played together through two Bundesliga title wins but that was when Reus was at Monchengladbach. With the three of them all in the side now it’ll be interesting to see how Dortmund lineup next season, especially when you add Aubemeyang in to that mix and young wingers like Christian Pulisic and Ousmane Dembele. It’s quite possible that Gotze will slot right into Kagawa’s spot, pushing the Japansese international into a central midfield role. But that is probably too much of a stretch. The more likely scenario is that he takes Mkhitaryan’s right wing spot in the team, a position that Gotze has hardly ever played in his career, but will be able to adapt to quite easily. Wherever he lines up next season, Mario Gotze is almost guaranteed to start and won’t have to worry about the stern competition for places in the team at Dortmund like he did at Bayern Munich.
In his time at Bayern Munich, Gotze scored 36 goals in 114 matches in all competitions. Although that is slightly better than his previous spell with BVB, he was much younger when he was playing for the Black and Yellows and his overall play was far superior. Just last season with Bayern Munich, the 24 year old played just 14 Bundesliga matches, scoring just 3 goals and assisting only 4. It wasn’t a good season from the German international by any means and the assumption was that under Carlo Ancelotti next season that things weren’t going to improve. So, he returns to Borussia Dortmund with the club in open arms for the German midfielder, hoping he can regain his reputation as one of the brightest talents in the game. Mario Gotze was excellent in his time at Borussia Dortmund and if he hadn’t left, we’re looking at the possibility that he is one of the top 30 footballers on the planet right now. But, Mario Gotze did leave BVB and after struggling at Bayern Munich he returns a much-changed player.
Mario Gotze’s return to Borussia Dortmund is an exciting one for many fans, but one just has to wonder what his career would have been like today had he never left Borussia Dortmund in the first place. As a die-hard Borussia Dortmund fan, I sincerely hope Mario Gotze can regain top form and become one of the greatest footballers in the world again.